Who am I and why do I blog here?
Those are questions, I’m sure, that many of you have wondered ever since I started posting here regularly toward the end of last year. Well, let me explain…
…but first let’s back up a little.
Back in early 2008 Maddie finally came home after her long stay in the hospital, and Heather went back to work with the Los Angeles Dodgers. That left me to become a stay-at-home Dad. I was excited, but nervous. Adjusting to being a stay-at-home Dad is hard enough, but when your baby has special needs, it’s even harder.
A few weeks into this new life Heather told me that I should start a blog chronicling my experiences as a stay-at-home Dad. Part of her was hoping that I might find some other parents online to commiserate with as she could tell I was feeling a bit isolated at home. The other part of her, I think, was hoping that I would get caught up in the social media world like her so that I would stop saying things like, “What are you doing on that computer all night?!”
Soon I started my blog, The Newborn Identity, and very quickly I met a lot of great people/parents online. This was tremendously helpful. I could write a post about a mistake I made parenting, or asking a question about how to handle something, and the next day I had a bunch of comments from parents like me offering encouragement or advice. I no longer felt so alone. It was a Godsend.
I had a lot of fun writing that blog. Some of my favorite posts from that time were about taking Maddie on a highly unusual trip to the doctor, trying to figure out what the heck to dress her in, and how she liked to stay up all night like a frat boy.
It was easy to write posts that I could be proud of back then with little Maddie as my muse.
But then Maddie died and everything changed. I posted on my blog a little longer, but I had little motivation. After all, how could I keep writing on a website about what it was like to be a Dad when the greatest thing that ever happened to me – the very thing that made me a Dad – was now gone? The simple answer was I couldn’t. I soon left it behind, a memory just like the glorious days with Maddie that I had so enjoyed writing about.
Some time after that Heather started to ask me to guest post on her site from time to time, mainly when she was too ill to post herself while pregnant with Annie. Then, after Annie was born, I found I had the desire to blog again. Rather than starting a new site of my own, I asked Heather if I could re-launch my old blog on her site since I had already been guest posting here. She said, yes, and even suggested that we put all my old posts about Maddie here too.
Writing on The Spohrs Are Multiplying with Heather’s readership has been interesting. I’ve been welcomed warmly by many readers, but also called sexist, a jerk, and the reason to no longer read the site. From time to time Heather will call me the day after I put up a new post (such as my last on corporal punishment) and ask, “What did you do now?!” But I hope that Heather – and all of you – understand that I never mean to offend anyone. I just reflect on certain subjects that relate to me and my life as a Dad, then write my thoughts down and hit publish. I’m not claiming that my opinion is 100% right, or that yours is wrong if you disagree. I’m just expressing what this one guy thinks.
After the reaction to my last post I did a lot of thinking about blogging. I wondered, “Am I doing it wrong? Should I just write cute stories about Annie? Or, if I do decide to write about issues that are a little more controversial, should I hide my true thoughts and simply present the subject without comment?”
Somehow that doesn’t seem right to me. What’s the point of writing a blog if you can’t express yourself? Still, if any of you can tell me how you think I should do things differently as a blogger, I’m all ears.
I hope that this post helped those of you who don’t remember me on my old site to get to know me better. I have been on quite a journey ever since I wrote my first post about Maddie all those years ago, and I thank all of you who have joined me at some point along the way.
I read some other mommy blogs, and I read some daddy blogs, but this is the only blog on my reader that has posts from both parents. I really like it. It’s a neat perspective. Don’t stop! People who don’t like it can just suck it up and not read those posts.
Said so well
I love your posts! I agree with the above commenter people who don’t like them don’t have to read them.
Mike, I followed your old blog years ago. In fact, on the blog I used to have, where I posted under the name Willow, I even used one of your posts as an inspiration for a post of my own. (It was the one about a letter to our younger self). Then I lost internet connection unexpectedly, and for a very long time.
When I came back, everything was different. Maddie had died and Heather was expecting Annie, you had stopped posting. I continued to follow Heather, and was so pleased when your occasional posts started appearing.
I don’t comment very much any more but I read every single post. I don’t always agree with what you post, but it’s your opinion I disagree with, not you. People have a choice, to read or not read. They can also comment on how and why they disagree. This world would be an awful one if everybody was the same after all. What nobody should do, is be disrespectful or hurtful to another. I think you should continue to post what you believe, this is Heather’s and your space. Nobody should come into your home and tell you your walls are painted the wrong colour, why should they be able to come onto your blog and tell you your opinions are wrong?
Sorry for the essay, I just hate to see good people ground down and silenced because of thoughtlessness and rudeness.
Well said! I agree, as a longtime reader and very rare commenter myself.
Mike, I love, love, your posts! You have a great sense of humor and I don’t think you ever offend anyone.
Keep on writing what YOU feel! Remember this is YOUR blog – if the other’s dont like it – they can “skip off into the sunset” …to their perfect lives where nobody gets spanked with a kitchen utensil! Btw my mom threw me with a hammer once… it missed me and hit the door! And I still love her!
well said thurieyyah!
Mate. I love that you write here … I’m still laughing at that old lady in the post office calling you a “peach.”
I love seeing your reactions to Heathers mad cooking skillz, and all the amazing videos you’ve produced.
Now I’m off to read your last post, after I’ve made some popcorn.
PS Diet coke *is* bad for you, though.
I hardly ever comment and when I do its usually from a completely different perspective of my fellow commenters which is why I am probably commenting today. I think its completely rude for someone to come to YOUR blog and make YOU feel bad because of YOUR opinions. They are your opinions, no one else’s. Your experiences and belief’s make you who you are and what you think is right or wrong, simply because its a blog and ANYONE can comment that doesnt mean that they are right. They don’t like the content well, they can go read another blog that fits their belief’s and sugar coats things to THEIR amusement. At the end of the day its THEIR problem not yours. Your blog is great! Ive been reading since Heather was expecting Annie and there have been times where I disagree with your opinion or Heathers but I would never call you out on it because they are YOUR opinions and honestly…. its a blog so why are people getting so worked up on it? Grow up people… act your age and have some respect. If not click Alt+F4 and have yourself a good day! ;]
In all honesty, I think everyone needs to take the internet with a grain of salt. The written word is a trickster, it weaves its own diabolical web and can wind up painting a picture that isn’t anything like the one in our head just because the words we chose triggered different emotions than we intended in those who read them. The internet is also hugely populated and instead of being like ‘normal’ life, where you get less opportunity to interact with such a large group of people on a daily basis, you can wind up with an enormous audience that will, of course, consist of people who disagree with you. It is our challenge, as social networkers, to realise that you can’t possibly know a person purely by who they are online. People like you and Heather are so incredibly brave because you let yourselves be judged by those who have a far greater license to interpret you however they want than if you spoke in person. It’s okay to have dissenters. The world is full of them, it’s just that in our concrete reality, we are far less likely to meet them in the numbers we will encounter online.
When it all boils down, if there is one thing that cannot be mistaken, I don’t believe, it’s the love you have for all of your girls. More than that, when I see your two beautiful daughters and read about everything their astonishing parents do for them, I have the only answer I’ll ever need in regard to your personal worth. You’re a great Dad. Your girls adore you, who am I to argue with them?
Ohh Mike….PLEASE, DON’T CHANGE ANYTHING!!! In do so, sure maybe some readers would be disappointed but not me. The thing I love the most about your and Heather’s blog is just how real it is!!! There has been times when I read about the heartache you both feel about loosing Maddie and I sobbed and carried your words around with me for DAYS. It wasn’t just the words that moved me but the profound RAW emotions as well. You both allowed us in your family, home, world and all that goes with that.
When Maddie passed, suddenly I found myself not only grieving for a beautiful little girl that was taken WAY too soon but also for her parents who were by all accounts 2 of the most loving and devoted parents I personally “knew”. Because of both of your words, I not only got to know Maddie but I also fell in love with her and you could not believe how much I miss her.
I also found myself caring for and falling in love with you, Heather and Annie too (NOT in a WEIRD way… in a friend way). I suddenly began thinking about you guys and hoping your days were going well and praying you were all doing okay. When we became friends and started to all text each other, I felt (and still do feel) honoured you both chose to be MY friend. I felt so lucky. You guys are so special and to think…you like ME!!! WOW!!!
Dear Mike….you and Heather have an amazing gift. You are both beautiful writing and your truth is remarkable…even when it hurts. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE DON’T CHANGE ONE THINK ABOUT YOUR WRITING!!! You are honest, kind, witty and thoughtful. It is IMPOSSIBLE to please all of the people all of the time so, I say….if someone doesn’t agree with you…FINE…that’s what makes the world go around. If they chose to stop reading b/c they don’t like your opinion…Well, all I can say to that is “Don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out the door”. Let them go Mike and don’t think another thing about them. They aren’t worth your time and certainly DON’T have any right to make you feel badly!
I love your guys blog. Too be me, it truly is an incredible gift and Heather’s pictures are such a blessing to me, especially during my bad nights and days when I need a distraction.
Keep writing from your heart Mike….you can NEVER go wrong if you do. Thank you for sharing your Maddie and Annie, and your life with Heather and Rigby. Like Heather….your words make me cry, laugh, think, feel thankful, heart broken and GRATEFUL!!!
You truly are a wonderful writer but even more than that, you are one of the BEST daddy’s I know. Maddie, Annie and any other babies you may have are extremely lucky kids!! By doing this blog, you and Heather are giving them such a PERFECT and PRICELESS gift!!! How lucky they are!!!
I totally agree w/everything Jenn just said!
C Ramirez says:
As much as I love Heather’s posting – I really enjoy yours, plus the comments are fun to read – it is amazing how many closed minded people are out there. I may not agree with everyone else’s opinion but I am not going to force my opinion on others and try to make other’s look stupid. Keep on posting for us – and just laugh at the people who live in bubbles!!!
I have to say Mike to keep being who you are. If everyone had the same opinions it would make for a very boring conversations. I enjoy reading your blog as well as Heather’s. In fact this site is the one I check daily. Keep up the good work!
I love the wide range of content on this blog, that’s why I read it. I feel that what you write is genuinely how you feel and you’re not just posting something to please the masses (another reason why I read this blog). Keep on writing from the heart, that’s what makes the rest of feel like we’re not so alone in this world!
Linda Campbell says:
Keep posting, I love them and look forward to them!
I enjoy both of you writing on the blog. As others have said, it’s you all’s blog, so write what you want. Don’t change or water down your opinions-write what you really feel about the subject. As one person commented, there were some closed minded people and the comments get interesting to say the least! The parenting posts gets some folks riled up-their way or no way!
Love hearing both voices in your relationship, and love opening your latest post and going ‘oh, boy comments are going to be good here!’ *g*
Don’t change a thing!
Sit down, have a delicious, delicious Diet Coke and do dome blogging!
Heather has the most unique blogging style I’ve seen. She somehow manages to have the sunny, silly, positive manner that so many mommy bloggerrs have, yet she is REAL. I love her. Lots. You are awesome in your own way, and I love you too. I feel as if I know you because of this blog and I see how you probably balance one another well in real life. Your spanking post did not make me mad. But I probably did roll my eyes. I commented this the other day, but it may be worth repeating: discussions like those are nearly impossible to have without people feeling attacked and judged. And really, after reading the most convincing comment, or even after being around my incredible girls (who’ve been spanked) are you going to say, “You know what? She’s right! Maybe I WILL spank!” NOPE! That’s why I didn’t see a need for a discussion like that here. It only served to get people all in a twist.
BUT, if you chose to write about topics like that, it’s absolutely your right! And if I disagree with you, I may comment in a respectful, rational manner, or I may just roll my eyes and sigh, but I sure wouldn’t leave. In real life, we don’t always agree with those we love. And sometimes, they tick us off. Why would that be any different here?
Don’t change who you are.
You just can’t talk about things like breast v. bottle, vaccines, sleep training, or spanking without getting guff…no matter what you say or how much love or understanding you attempt to say it with. If you choose to talk about them, people will get their panties in a twist. This is only because as parents, all we want….desperately want…is to do what is best for our child. It hurts to be told that you are abusing the little life that you love more than anything, which is why people get so upset in these conversations.
Part of what I love about this blog is just how real it is. I appreciate that you aren’t necessarily trying to please the masses in order to gain a larger reader base – but instead enjoy sharing your day-to-day lives, thoughts and adventures. Do I always agree with every thought? It doesn’t matter! I’ve stopped reading more than one blog because it became “The Land of Giveaways and Sponsored Posts” and was no longer “real.”
Besides – as others have said – when an especially “interesting” post goes up, I just about rub my hands together in glee waiting for the comments to pour in. Cheap entertainment!!
Your blog – your opinion! Keep writing and I’ll definitely keep reading!
nothing wrong with posting on controversial topics from time to time. i, for one, like it when you make me think and consider other opinions. if your commentators want to have pissing matches with each other, that’s no skin off your teeth. i really enjoy your posts, even the ones that make others feel the need to spew venom with their opinions.
I love your posts, I think you are bloggin perfectly, I share many of them with my husband.
Please, don’t stop, if people don’t hear (read) other peoples perspectives life would be so boring. I also think I benefit from hearing a male perspective. That’s my two cents. Thanks.
I enjoy your articulate writing style and your integrity. I don’t always agree with you, but there’s nothing wrong with that. We all have different perspectives in life. You write from yours. You’re honest. You have substance. You’re a respectful person.
Readers are a broad range of people. Some are more outspoken than others, and certain topics can trigger a lot of emotion. It’s not right to be rude or harsh, but some people react that way. Don’t let it stop you from writing from your heart.
I enjoy your posts very much. You are thoughtful and thought-provoking. Please keep writing about whatever you want to write about.
I enjoy reading your thoughts. I often disagree, but, so what? It is interesting to hear a different opinion. I don’t think you are doing anything wrong. If anyone is “wrong” (in my opinion) it is the folks that stick around all day arguing in the comment section. Back and forth, back and forth, it gets nastier and nastier. One comment people, one. State your opinion to the writer of the original post. Then..go on about your day…read a book or something. What is the point of berating a stranger over and over, and yes, over because they have an opinion different than yours? Seriously. Go outside and get some fresh air.
Totally agree with this!
I’m glad you are writing here. I loved reading your stuff when you had your own blog and I missed you and your words when you stopped writing. I’m glad you decided to join Heather here and it is fun to get your perspective on things sometimes.
Personally, I love your posts and look forward to reading them. I think you express your ideas and opinions in a very diplomatic manner and I never feel like you’re pushing your opinions on others. You shouldn’t have to change your views or your topics because some people are overly sensitive and easily offended. There are people who love to complain and argue over anything. These people could start a fight in an empty room. Do not change who you are because of these people and please do not stop posting. I think it gives Heather’s blog a nice edge. You are the Sonny & Cher of the blogosphere! LOL!
Liz T. says:
I read this blog almost everyday. If I don’t see eye to eye with the author, that’s okay. We are not going to all agree on everything and frankly if we did, how boring. I have only commented once or twice and I think it’s okay to post a differing opinion, but we should keep it respectful. I enjoy your point of view, keep it up!
Mike, I really enjoy reading your posts on Heather’s site. I hope you continue to do so, and I love going home and telling my hubby to read what you wrote. He enjoys reading a dad’s point of view. Keep up the good work!
Just keep in mind that pissed off people are louder. I read your blog (both yours and Heather’s posts) every day but I’m just not much of a commenter. Personally I like husband/wife blog teams. But I think that people that enjoy a blog are just less likely to comment than those who are pissed off by it… human nature I guess.
Just popping in to say that I think your posts are great- it is nice to have a “fresh” voice in the blog world.
Mike – I love you just as much as I love your wife. Keep up the good work!
Unfortunately when you open up your opinions to a public forum you are going to have those that absolutely don’t agree and are going to tell you seven-ways-to-Sunday, why. Some will be respectful but then you have *those* people that feel the need to get nasty.
That said, it is your blog and both your writing and Heather’s writing are great, so I personally wouldn’t change a thing.
One common thread I have seen in the blogs I read, is everyone gets these kind of people, you just have to let it roll off your back and move forward
Your posts are absolutely perfect the way they are. I thoroughly enjoy reading both yours and Heather’s. Don’t stop!
I prefer your posts, Mike, because you’re not afraid to take a stand on some more controversial issues. It seems like so many for-profit bloggers squirm away from big issues out of fear of losing readers, but then it just turns into a lame, “gosh, this is such a hard issue!” and who wants to read that? Besides, you’re always respectful in your views, and people who have a problem with them need to question what they’re being so defensive about.
Mike, I love that you post here. I only have a canine child, but I have been checking out yours and Heather’s blogs for a long time thanks to Matt Logelin. I very much like hearing your perspective on things (especially Diet Coke!), so I hope you continue to post. I look forward to starting my day checking out what you and Heather have written. You are both so brave, and I hope that you don’t let people who are snarky or disagree with you stop you from expressing your opinions! Keep up the good work and I look forward to your next post!
I read this blog everyday. Your thoughts, from your perspective, are always interesting.
Mike, I truly enjoy your posts and I’ve read Newborn Identity as well. I don’t think you should sensor yourself at all. If someone doesn’t enjoy reading about the way that another husband or father views HIS world then they shouldn’t read. It’s your life, no one else and I don’t see the harm in expressing your opinions and life experiences on your family blog.
Mike, please don’t change or quit. You are a gifted writer. People will disagree – they always do, and some of them are mean about it. (It’s easy to be mean because of the anonymity of posting online. I bet very few people call you a sexist jerk to your face.) I love reading your posts. They give me not just an enjoyable read, but also insight into what a man – or at least one intelligent, articulate dad – thinks. There’s so little male perspective in the blogosphere. Yours is valuable and valued.
As someone who’s followed your posts for a while, I was thrilled to see you posting here. I remain thrilled that you’re continuing to write. As many have said, it’s your blog, write what you want– I think it’s healthy to discuss a variety of topics.
Personally, I like that both of you post here. It makes it fun to read and I like that you mix humor with serious subject matter. I can relate to this blog since I have two small children and am the same age as Heather, so it makes it that much more enjoyable to read! Go Spohrs!
Keep posting Mike! I love the fact that readers have insight into your marriage, into the fact that you and Heather disagree on lots of things, but have a successful marriage, especially since you’ve gone through the worst thing a parent can go through.
I also like that you post happy, funny, sad, and occasional contraversial topic. It’s a mixed bag. Too much of the same thing can be wearying.
Whatever you write, whatever you do, you’ll always have judgmental, opinionated people. All blogs do. Ignore them and focus on all of us who love you and all your girls (including Rigby!)
Aw man, misspelled “controversial.”
People nowadays will use anything and everything as an excuse to get offended. I’ve not read anything you’ve written that has made me the least bit offended. So keep on doing what you’re doing. I enjoy your posts.
Barbi Emel says:
I think it’s cool you post here, I used to check out Newborn Identity too, but this is much easier. You’re both in one spot Blogging is just that, feelings. Take Care!
Katie Jane says:
I read the blog everyday, but I never comment. I had to make an exception today. I really love both your and Heather’s posts. It’s so great to see two different perspectives on one blog. There are always going to be people who don’t like what you do – and they’re usually loud and obnoxious – but I think most people love having your voice on here as well. Don’t change a thing!
Mike, I think you add tremendous value to this site. I read both your blog and this blog separately before Maddie passed, and I was really sad when you stopped blogging on your site. I also understood, as only a parent who has lost a child can. I like the fact that both of you now blog here. You have a much different perspective on things, and I find it extremely helpful. Keep up the good work — BOTH of you.
Just to add to the choir, I think it is so great that you and Heather post together. You both are such funny, insightful and thoughtful people, and I love your honesty. I was a USC girl (oh, the memories… 2-9 anyone?) and lived in LA for 7 years and sometimes wonder what my life would be like if I had stayed and raised my family there near my parents, instead of moving across the planet. You guys give me a picture of that and are such a beautiful family that I love reading about. I also read some blogs in which the wife says some not-so-nice things about her husband and it’s so great to see you guys as a team instead of one of you being the invisible other half (I do love your little battles though, they’re hilarious). Anyway, don’t listen to the trolls, the majority of us think you’re awesome. Thank you for writing!
Haters gonna hate so don’t you worry about them! I loved your old blog, but I love it even more that you guys both post here. When I see that you have both posted on one day, I’m like, “Score!”. Two of my favorite writers in one place. Don’t change a thing!!
Ps. I work part time, and on the days that my hubby is off, he stays home with the baby and brings him to me on my lunch break so I can nurse him. When baby falls asleep, hubby stays and has lunch with me and some of my co-workers. During these lunches, he has been known to ruffle a few feathers with some of his political statements or opinions on things- so I can relate to the “What did you do now?!” feeling. But you know what? So what if he pisses people off from time to time. He also gets them talking and thinking and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Please keep asking your “controversial” questions and chime in with your opinions!!
I enjoy hearing from both of you. On most blogs, we hear only the Mom’s side of the story, but it is fun to hear from both sides.
Jackie M says:
I love your thought-provoking posts! Frankly, I think you should write one like once a week. The weekly Hot Button issue! Sure, there will always be those who are offended because they think that by stating your opinion, you are calling them wrong if their opinion is different. But I think for the most part, these posts invite meaningful and interesting discussion amongst the less immature readers on here. So, yes, please continue!
Of course, please don’t stop with the cute stories about Annie
Oh my gosh, you’re always so thoughtful about what you post, no matter the subject, that I can’t see how anybody could be offended even if they disagree with you. (Maybe that intolerance is what’s wrong with this country today? But I digress.) Keep writing man!
It’s called “The Spohrs Are Multiplying” after all, not “Mama Spohr’s Blog Only So Keep Out Stinky Boys/Husbands”, so add me to the chorus of people glad to see you blogging here! I enjoy reading both of you.
It’s your blog, your thoughts, your words – who cares what “those” people think…. if they’re offended they can skip a rope…. Keep blogging!
I enjoy your perspective!
Rita from the Chicago says:
Don’t stop blogging here, Mike! I believe I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I LOVE reading your perspective! It’s refreshing and fits really well with Heather’s posts. I especially love when yours and Heather’s posts are very different from one another. It’s great!
I enjoy your writing as much as I enjoy Heather’s. We’d live in a pretty boring world if we all just agreed all the time and we never had a different prospective on life’s great questions. I may not always agree with blogs I read but I would never direspect the author. I would love the chance to write my own blog but I’m too chicken, so kudos to you Mike for having the strength to write on. I will continue to read as long as you both are willing to share. Thanks!
Quite honestly you are the reason I started reading this blog in the first place. I found your Newborn Identity blog randomly and I stayed up late one night reading past posts and I was hooked. I loved reading the dad’s point of view on things. I loved reading about Maddie and all your experiences with her. I told my husband about it and he even read it from time to time, laughing at the things that he too was going thru as a dad to a little girl. Then one day I checked in and read the most horrific news about a family that I had come to know in such a small way thru only your words. My hurt for you was just as real as if I knew you in real life.
I am happy that you are blogging here and I love to read your view on things, whether I always agree or not. Keep on being yourself and doing your thing!
Mike, your posts are my favorite. You’re a great blogger, you & heather both. This is the first site I come to everyday. You guys are such good writers. Don’t change a thing
Your blog is “The Spohr’s are Multiplying” and I think it’s perfectly natural that both Mrs. and Mr. Spohr write on the blog. I enjoy both of your posts. I will be honest that I don’t always 100% agree with you but that’s your opinion on YOUR family blog. I love hearing the Dad’s perspective and you remind me a lot of my own husband. I say keep what your doing and if they don’t want to read then they won’t but I’ll bet they’ll check in now and again to see what controversy you’ve posted.
I love hearing from Mike, whether or not I agree with your viewpoint. It’s nice to hear from both parents!
I love your posts Mike. I think you write from the heart. We all felt your heartbreak, yours and Heather’s, when Maddie passed. And also your joy at Annie. Both of you have a way with words and I enjoy either/both of you.
Hugs from Minnesota
p.s. I believe that no one should ever hit a child. For any reason. They do not understand that it’s because they did something wrong. They only see that papa or mama has hurt them.
I discovered your blog before Heather’s; I have since taken my blog down where we had corresponded as well during that time, some comical reminders of times past. It was through Newborn Identity that I fell in love with your family. After Maddie’s passing, I was grateful for Heather continuing to post, to share what you were going through. Your family had become a part of mine, and we all were heartbroken for you.
In my humble opinion, people who jump on you for your opinions, your personal blog posts, are short sighted. You are one-half of a complete couple that runs a family. To think or assume that both you and Heather share the same thoughts, the same outlook, the same parenting styles is completely irrational. I would never think my husband to be like me. No two people are identical.
A family, your family, has both parents. It isn’t about Heather’s family, or Annie’s family. It is about the Spohr family. Having a man’s perspective on a FAMILY blog is parramount.
It is a treat to read your writing, Mike. Please, don’t stop. I find it refreshing.
All my best to the entire Spohr family,
It’s your (collective) space. Post what you want to talk about. Otherwise, you’ll find you lose interest in blogging again.
I like reading your posts and the comments. Who wants to read something where everyone just says, “Yes, I agree. Whoo hoo!” It’s not only boring, it doesn’t give anyone a chance to consider other points of view and *maybe* shift their own.
Mike, putting yourself out there for criticism is scary, you will never be able to make everyone happy and if we all had the same opinion life would be wicked boring!
I can so relate to this. I blog from time to time with a few friends as my readers and there are so many things I want to blog about but I get myself into trouble just on facebook posts. I have a strong opinion and one that often goes against the grain. My opinions are well-formed and I stand behind them, but I also do not like upsetting people or making people feel uncomfortable so I end up rather conflicted. I think the problem sometimes is the application of tone of voice. If you’re writing about something that someone disagrees with, they will potentially add a negative or sarcastic or harsh tone when you don’t mean one. It probably has something to do with their past experiences or their own insecurities and there is little you can do about it. Sometimes they even put words in your mouth and there’s no excuse for that, but they still do it and will continue to. It sucks.
Giving a little background about yourself and where you stand was a good idea in this post. Sometimes I think that’s the problem when people get upset at what I say/write… they just don’t know me well enough. But perhaps we could all use a little lesson in giving people the benefit of the doubt! You know, assume that you’re NOT a sexist jerk. Assume that you, like most people, are a regular person with some flaws but are mostly good. There’s an idea!
Keep blogging. I like it. It helps that I agree with much of what you say. But I also love getting a male perspective on home life when you offer it… it helps me understand my husband better.
Please don’t stop writing on this blog, Mike. They provide humor and a unique viewpoint from the male perspective. I like when you write things that make us think. It also helps to read others comments to your blogs, because that makes me sometimes rethink my own viewpoint.
katrina @ They All Call Me Mom says:
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”
? Dr. Seuss
I, personally, look forward to your posts, Mike. I think your take on parenting is refreshing and honest. There are so many Mom blogs, but so few from the Dad’s perspective. Don’t let the people who spew negative crap change the direction of the wind for you. Just keep writing and knowing that there are far more of us who LOVE what you have to say.
I love reading your posts! It’s interesting to hear about parenting from a father’s persepctive and I love both you and Heather so I enjoy the extra posts!
I read this site every day, but rarely do I post. Only when I really feel compelled too, because I don’t like my comments out there open for the world to see- you guys, on the other hand, are brave souls who let the world in.
I stumbled upon your (Heather’s) site after reading Matt Logelin’s site, whose site I stumbled upon from an in-person friend of mine. After reading both of your sites for a couple of years, I started having some deep anxiety about losing those people in life who I would be lost without- namely my husband or my children (who, coincidently, are almost to the day the same ages as Madeline L. and Annie). I told myself I was going to stop reading, because I wanted to selfishly return to the blissful world of never thinking about some harm befalling the ones I love the most.
But, when I tried to stop reading, I found that I couldn’t stop coming back. Your words weren’t simply about your grief- they were a lesson in living, with whatever ugly circumstances come our way, learning to survive and thrive. I’ve watched you guys go through hell and back, and even though you will never recover or be the same people you were before, I, from an outsider’s perspective, have seen the tone of your blogs change. Over the span of several years, your words have gone from hopelessness and darkness to acceptance of the reality of which you were dealt, hope for the future, and learning to embrace the moments of happiness that have crept in along the way, more and more often. The loss of Maddie will never lessen, but you have chosen to keep moving forward. Your words have taught me, that if something should happen to one of my peeps, it will be the worst thing that I ever have to face, but that I can and will survive it, somehow.
Over time, your posts have become mixed, not only focused on losing and missing Maddie, but also about the life that you are living- and let me tell you- you and Heather are FUNNY people. You often have me laughing at my desk because of your witty and wacky thoughts and the gift you both have of recording them. I come back, day after day, because you guys are engaging and entertaining. I love that neither of you take yourselves too seriously.
Don’t either of you change a thing. If people don’t like what you have to say, or don’t agree with you, well, they can suck it.
Mike, please don’t let a few jerks get you down. I love reading your posts.
love love love that you’re posting here. it saves me the trip of having to go to your blog site! i’ve been reading heather’s blog for years now and have grown to love your family. in fact, some of my fave blogs are when she has guest bloggers (her mom, bampa) – special treat! please keep on blogging the way u do. it’s what makes all of us coming back for more. it’s honestly one of the highlights of my day to see how y’all are doing. and when i see a post from you and from heather on one day, it’s a double highlight!! thanks so much for sharing your family with us.
Mike – I love reading your point of view! Your posts are hilarious, helpful and give great insight from a dad’s perspective. In fact, because of you, I’m bugging the Hubs to start blogging about his experience, too! Please don’t stop blogging on here! I love hearing from both you and Heather!
I really like your writing and communication style.
Keep up the good work!
I love what you’ve come to contribute to the blog, and I genuinely enjoy the perspective your posts give. I don’t expect to agree with anyone 100% of the time, that would be one boring reading experience if I did.
I figured you’d get people up in arms over the corporal punishment issue, I’ve yet to see that topic come up anywhere without an argument ensuing, so I actually think you showed some pretty big cajones by taking that on AND giving your opinion. I don’t feel personally like your tone implied you feel you are absolutely right and there is no way to see the issue but yours, but then, I don’t spank either so maybe it’s just because I agree?
I think the real battle actually came int he comments section, between various posters, and that had nothing at all to do with you and everything to do with how these different readers relate to each other.
Either way I love your posts, so this reader says keep it up!
I rarely comment, but I love reading your posts! Don’t change a thing. Keep it up!
I came to your blog early last year, while still on maternity leave with my now-19-month-old son. So all I’ve ever known is the blog with both of your voices, and I love it. It’s such a unique perspective, hearing from both of you. I love your openness and honesty – both yours and Heather’s – and I hope you never change that.
I love that you are involved. I think the second voice can upset people’s sense of every little thing, their ownership of your family(‘s) story. I think it just gives us more to adore and respect.
Faith Smith says:
You are doing awesome and I love reading your posts!
long time reader, first time writer. i think it’s pretty obvious from the comments above, but i wanted to make sure you know that for every one person who gets pissed off, there are many more of us who appreciate what you write – some of us just don’t chime in very often.
and dude, seriously, i had to go back and re-read that post because i didn’t remember it being that big of a deal. i was right – you expressed your opinion without being a jerk. that’s a win in my book.
I have read this blog longer than any other that I read. I used to read your(Mike) blog back when you wrote there. I was sad when you no longer posted over there and I love that you and Heather combined now! It’s awesome to be able to get a mom and dad perspective on one blog. I look forward to it each day!
Sorry Mike…I am new to your blog but have read a few entries from before.
I think you are doing a wonderful job on your blog. You should be able to talk about whatever you want, and as a reader – I can read it or I can not read it.
Censorship is the biggest cause, I think, of losing a reader. I feel that you aren’t giving me the whole story – especially if all your posts are chocolate and roses.
Good luck to you and your family. I hope you continue to use your blog in the way that you need it to !!
One thing I really like about Heather’s blog is that she posts daily, faithfully. When I see that you have also published a post underneath, I get excited, not only because I feel like I get a “2 for 1,” but also because blog posts from dads are rare, and I really enjoy reading a guy’s perspective. I had no idea about your old blog, so today’s post was very interesting.
I think if you are going to put your opinions out there, as you should be able to on your own damn blog, you have to have a really thick skin. But also there are crazies out there who seem to derive great pleasure in pushing blogger’s buttons in the hopes of shutting the blog down, or just starting a fight. I hate these people with a passion because they ruin the fun for the rest of us.
I think I’m rambling….anyway I really, really hope you don’t change a thing. You make Heather’s blog even more worth reading!
Mike, I found your and Heather’s websites right around the time Maddie passed away (via Matt Logelin’s blog). I read back through many of you and Heather’s posts about beautiful Maddie and I cried for all of you. I remember reading the post about your first day back at work afterwards and what happened and I was so worried for you.
I understood why you stopped blogging…I’m not sure I could’ve gone on either in your shoes. Everyone deals with grief differently, but I was so happy to see your posts on this site when you began blogging again and am really happy to see you posting on a more regular basis about Annie and about parenting in general. And I like hearing your view of things, so please don’t edit yourself. It’s neat to read your posts and Heather’s posts and get perspective from both. I’ve also enjoyed chatting with you on Twitter.
What I make of Heather’s husband? Cool guy, great father, you and Heather are lucky to have each other.
Mike, I actually like reading your posts and often read them out loud to my husband from time to time. My husband can relate to a lot of what you have to say from a Dad’s perspective and helps me understand where he’s coming from when I’m too caught up with the kids. You know you’re effective when someone reads something you’ve written and they say, “I never thought of it that way…” That’s happened to me when reading some of your posts. So I hope you continue to write and share your perspective – it’s important. And on the same note, ignore the negative comments – there will always be some of those – and focus on all the positive comments and people who support you.
Kristin (MamaKK922) says:
Don’t change! I love all your posts, we’re all different and all have different perspective and thoughts. I love both yours and Heather’s opinions and perspectives it makes life interesting. Haters are going to hate it’s just what they do. But why should you change your thoughts and opinions because certain people can’t handle different opinions than their own. Some people need to realize they aren’t the only parents in the world and their way of doing everything isn’t always right. We’re all different as parents and humans. And that is what makes things interesting, I like interesting. And I’ll give you an example that helps me, My favorite Ice Cream flavor is Grape it’s different and unheard of and bothers some people, but I would rather love my grape ice cream than be bored with plain old vanilla just to fit in.
Mike, I love the posts from both you and Heather. Your posts are well-written and I often forward them to the men in my life. I love the two perspectives on one blog. Forget about them haters!
Be who you are, and say what you feel. Love your posts, enjoy reading your opinion. Never be afraid to begin a debate. Keep blogging.
I love Mike! I like your honest opinions whether I agree or not. The couple perspective here is needed and appreciated.
Mike – FWIW – I really enjoy your posts. I have found helpful many of the things you have said about your grief, your fears. I remember when Maddie passed away, I was *so worried* about you. Nothing I’ve typed for the past 4 tries here sounds right but just let me say that I’m so proud of the way you have fought. You’ve fought for Maddie, for Annie, for Heather and most of all for yourself.
You’re a good guy Mike. A really good guy. (Although I do disagree with your corporal punishment stance you TOTALLY redeem yourself with your Diet Coke one!)
I’m only beginning this blogging journey, but already I know it’s hard not to listen to those pesky few voices who tell you “UR DOIN IT WRONG.” But PLEASE let the comments on this post tell you that there is a “silent majority” out here of those of us who don’t comment frequently but love to hear your perspective. Because that’s what it is, and opinions and perspectives can’t be wrong. I think this is such a refreshing and enlightening blog BECAUSE you share your opinions and feelings and we get to hear from both of you. I would be so sad to lose your voice on this blog! Keep up the wonderful writing!
Mike, I found Heather’s blog while she was pregnant with Annie, and I really like your posts. I like the different perspective and the interesting topics you come up with. I feel like I know both of you and I really like that. I hope you keep blogging here and keep expressing your opinions!
I enjoy your posts and echo what everyone has already said…it’s your blog, post what you want! Everyone has differing opinions and I enjoy reading them. I love following along with your sweet family.
I have never commented before, but have read frequently. I enjoy your posts and respect your perspective, more times than not I have agreed with what you’ve written. But it shouldn’t matter if I have mostly agreed with you or not, you should keep doing your thing regardless. Who am I to judge anyway? I know you’re a music man, so I dedicate this song to you regarding this post….
I love to read your posts, Mike. I used to read The Newborn Identity daily =)
However, I think you should maybe think about relaunching your own blog. Not only so you can have your own space to blog about whatever you want without people bitching at you (you can block IP addresses of the real loony toons!), but so that Heather doesn’t have to deal with the aftershocks of some of your “touchy” blogging topics. I personally wouldn’t post on my boyfriends blog for the same reason.
Hopefully this doesn’t come off wrong, because really I love to read whatever it is that you have to say!
Please keep blogging anything and everything you want to. I will be hear to read. I may not always agree but I love to read it and know there are people out there that think differently than I do. That is NEVER a bad thing.
It would be a disappointment if you stopped blogging, Mike. Men have a different perspective and a different approach, not just to blogging, but to parenting and life in general. Some women (maybe men too?!) may have a hard time relating to this, but that’s OK. It’s a good thing to read outside one’s comfort zone. It gets people thinking, and that’s a very good thing. If we were all the same, what a boring life this would be. Keep blogging Mike!
Snarky Mommy says:
You gotta be true to yourself when you blog, or you’ll be paralyzed by self-editing. Keep doing what you’re doing, Mike — I love have another perspective on Annie-dom!
I’m not a parent, but I still enjoy reading this blog, and I enjoy both posts by Heather and Mike. I really think people need to get a thicker skin and realize that just because people disagree with you, you don’t have to take it personally or as an attack.
I don’t think the comments need to filled with nothing but yes-men though, but you can disagree with someone and express your opinion without resorting to attacks or making melodramatic declarations about how you’ll never read the blog again. If people don’t like your posts, Mike, they can skip over them and just read Heather’s.
You guys probably see your blog’s stats, so you can tell if you’re actually losing hits over posting about the occasional controversial topic, and I rather doubt that’s the case. If anything, controversy tends to draw more people in and I suspect most of those who claim they won’t ever read again eventually will once they put some distance from the computer and calm down a bit.
I love to read both of your perspectives! I have been reading here since about 4 months before Maddie died. My biggest issue (if you call it that!!) is that I don’t always NOTICE it is a post from you, Mike, and I’ll be a paragraph in going, “What is Heather TALKING about?!” or “That seems odd from her…” Oh, wait, it’s MIKE! lol
I didn’t agree with you on your last post, but i love reading you and your perspective. People who are solid in their parenting decisions wont be shaken by one blog post from a (albeit, friend and amusing) stranger. Now i’m off to spank my son… (just kidding)
I love reading posts from both of you. You both provide interesting perspectives and talking points. Anyone who reads your posts can tell you aren’t judging or making a point other than expressing your own opinions. I thought it was really interesting that you would be willing to touch a topic (like corporal punishment) that everyone ponders at some point but are too afraid to express for fear of being criticized. While everyone loves the cute stories and photos, it’s always nice to remember there are adults writing this stuff who have valid opinions on some less-than-cute topics.
I have been reading your blog for years and really enjoy it as is, I don’t believe you have to change anything. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
Keep it up Spohrs!
Mike. Don’t. Stop. Really, really. Although the phrases that spring to my mind, like “we will not be silenced” and “break the silence” are possibly overdramatic, they’re also, possibly, not. I believe firmly that voices are important; that one’s voice is a strong and valuable agent of change.
No matter what your opinion is (and, actually, your personal opinion, Mike, rarely seems offensive in any way), people will respond; some positively, some negatively, and dialogue will happen. And dialogue is sometimes messy and sometimes new and sometimes difficult, but how is any of that bad? Yay for human communication. Please keep writing.
Dudge OH says:
I think its great you guys blog “together”. Gives us Dads who visit a buddy! Kind of like going to a baby shower and finding one of the other SOs has been dragged along…! *lol*
DW & I have been blogging for at least five years, and over many different platforms, (between on or both of us we have used Y! 360, Multiply, Livejournal, Blogger/Blogspot and WordPress), but we’ve only got one joint blog (linked below) and neither of us blog there much.
You are not sexist or a jerk, nor should you stop writing on here because some people decide to no longer read. It is awesome to read from a Husband and Wife team. And also awesome to read from a Man’s point of view. A Father’s point of view. Thank you for your insight, for sharing your heart with us, like Heather has. Never stop.
I wouldn’t change anything about your writing style. The truth shall set you free, and those who don’t want to read it…? Can simply click out of this page.
You are not sexist or a jerk. Nor should you stop writing simply because some “threaten” to stop reading. It’s nice to read from an awesome Husband and Wife team. Great to read from a Man’s point of view. Even better…? From a Father’s point of view. Thank you for your great entries. For sharing your heart with us, and being honest on your journey of losing your daughter (like Heather). There’s nothing more beautiful than that.
Don’t change anything about your writing style. The truth shall set you free. And does who can’t bear to read…? Can simply click out of this page, if they find what you’re writing offensive. Which I don’t. Both you and Heather write with a lot of respect (of others) and humility, and I love that.
Amy ~Hamlet's Mistress says:
Your posts on this blog are my favorite, no offense to Heather, I like hers, too. I rarely agree with the views you put out in your posts about issues, but you’re just so inherently likeable it doesn’t even matter that I don’t. Plus you take the time to reply on the twitter and to emails which I respect very much. So yeah, just keep doing what you’re doing. It’s been great so far.
Hi Mike — I, too, had stumbled upon your blog before finding Heather’s. I loved it and really enjoyed reading your posts. After following a link to Heather’s, I’ve kept up with both of you over the years. Like so many others, I was sad when you took a hiatus from blogging. Not just because I missed your posts, but because I knew how much you were hurting. It has been so, so nice to see the posts start popping up again. The reason I’ve been hooked for so long is that you (and Heather) are so honest in what you write-the good, the bad, the ugly. It’s why so many people that have never met you feel like you are part of our families! I wouldn’t change a thing that you are doing and I wouldn’t make apologies for what you say. Negative people choose to read/hear/see only what THEY want and spin it to suit their own agenda. You will never be able to satisfy people like that and you shouldn’t feel obligated to try. Looking forward to the next post (and the ones to come!!)
Mike, I love your posts! Please don’t feel like you should censor yourself. I love it when people put their views out there instead of just saying something wishy washy like “It’s a touchy subject, and I don’t know the answer.” A little healthy disagreement and debate is good for all of us, and probably helps draw readers in the long run. If people are calling names or otherwise being rude, that says a lot about them, not you.
Brandy K says:
I used to read The Newborn Identity (via BHJ), I liked your wit and your perspective and you seemed like a fun, smart, and likeable dad. When you lost Maddie, it broke my heart and I missed your “voice”. I was glad you picked up again regularly here on TSAM. I say, to heck with those who either don’t get your humor or can’t see things from different (read: DAD) perspectives. So glad you are back regularly!
Youre awesome!!! Love reading your posts, as well as Heathers. Be honest, and be yourself. Some people cant handle reality and if thats the case, they need to make their own blog, instead of being critical on here.
The most frustrating thing about social media for me is how people hide behind the Internet. They say things that they wouldn’t say to you in person. Everyone should be nice and respectful on the Internet or not. You are allowed to post whatever you want…it’s your site and a place for you to post pictures and stories about your little girls and your opinions. The site is called The SPOHRS are Multiplying…not just Heather is Multiplying.
I don’t think you should change anything about how you blog/what you blog about. I really like how you and Heather share the blog and your different (as well as similar) perspectives on things. And, like you said, what’s the point if you don’t feel you can have freedom of expression? There are always going to be people out there who disagree with what other people say, but there are always going to be supportive people too.
I also find it kind of refreshing to hear the thoughts of a Dad blogger, since most of the parenting type blogs out there that I’ve come across are strictly moms. Those are great too, but I like how well-rounded your and Heather’s blog is.
Mike, you’re a great guy and a SUPER dad. Maddie & Annie are so lucky to have you. Keep doing what you’re doing…I enjoy reading your experiences and your stories.
I followed you at Newborn Identity and enjoyed and love when you post here as well. It’s a man’s perspective and it’s your blog…your post. It’s raw and honest and please keep it that way. You shouldn’t have to sugarcoat anything for anyone. I hate how people that want to disagree hide behind social media to do it… would they dare say some of the things they say on a post in front of your face? probably NOT!
Keep writing…and keep doing what you’re doing!
have a great weekend Mike!
Lee Cockrum says:
I love to read your posts. Like so many before me have said, this is your blog, write what you want! And some will agree, some will disagree, some will decide to stop reading, such is life!
J. P Martin says:
I enjoy your posts. Keep it up
Stephanie F says:
Being a parent is hard. I greatly value the thoughts you share and it helps me better understand and what my husband or other fathers are feeling. Please keep blogging! Those with negative responses need to hear from you the most.